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The Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand tokidoki, created by Italian artist and designer Simone Legno, started as a set of characters on a personal website and has since exploded into a wildly successful, and internationally recognized collection. tokidoki, Character Illustrator, Creative Inspirations explores Simone's techniques and methods for building some of his popular tokidoki characters using Adobe Illustrator. Take a peek into his sketchbook, and learn how he creates one of his popular skatedecks from start to finish.
(Music playing.) Simone Legno: What generally happens right now depends on what kind of product we want to do. But generally like since this is a very simple-- like working in Illustrator you have the opportunity to have very good files for production because most of products that are done out there, that have like a very bright image, are made like in vectors.
Because generally they print in silk screen, which means that the every color, it's like a different film. And so like they are going to take this file, divide it into colors. So generally you work in colors that go like from 1 to something that is 12, 13 colors. So depending on who is going to produce it, you have even sometimes to simplify this image. So this image should be fine because I'd say it's maybe like 11 colors.
But it sometimes happens that you have some vendors or some technique that in machine, that the maximum can go 6 colors. So like for example in this case, I would need like to take out or take out some parts or make some color compromise. So for example, if I have to scale it down in 6 colors, it just-- for example, this yellow is not a must, so you can have like silver earrings, so already you eliminate one color. You can eliminate like the reflections, like this color, it's very similar to the skin or to the cheeks, so probably like the horns are going to become like one of the two colors, maybe like the skin color.
Take the reflection on a product. Like sometimes you don't even notice because for example, on a t-shirt, generally it's a moving media, the person. So you don't notice all the details so like you can do the compromise of taking out these kind of colors. For example, this one, we can just take out the shade, so probably like here. Then generally like I design like swatches next to me. So let's say if my limit is 6 colors, I just have like the 6 swatches that are going to fill in with the colors that they choose to save or to keep.
So let's say black and white of course, it's a must. So I think the brown might be used. So we've already used three colors. The light blue, it's a good color, and then one skin and the gray. So in this case, as you can see, I have to choose between keeping like the cheeks, so take them out. And in this case you should take out this color. But maybe if you want to keep the cheeks, like two colors that are-- [00:02:54.6] we got rid of this shade or just for this shade we can use a gray which is very similar.
So as you can see the image didn't change that much. Or if we want to save the cheeks we have to get rid of the brown but the brown, it's very similar to black, so we just have to check if the color-- So even this could be like a good result for a T-shirt, for a watch. But generally the modern techniques, you don't have problems with to work a T-shirt with 12 or 14 colors. To make a toy, there are like two different ways and generally it's enough to draw in Illustrator in the same way. Like to draw like the turn around and so it's enough to have Mozzarella in the front, Mozzarella from the right side, Mozzarella on the left side, the back and the top.
This image is going to be given to a sculptor. He is going to make a sculpture and mold and he will style the different perspectives that you gave him and so he starts to mold the toy. And then he starts to send you images of these handmade molds. And generally like in Photoshop I change this, I change that, like if I could do it with my own hands. So maybe like make the head bigger, make the horns bigger, the face more flat, and these kind of things.
And then after the mold is approved to just like go to production, you give the colors you want. Generally everything is chosen with a Pantone book. And then you have to design the packaging of the toy, which is not a very easy job as every packaging because you have to take care not only about the design, the illustrations, but even all the technical requirements like bar codes and the text and every kind of different information, legal and technical information.
When you got your first mold, you feel great because I think that every character designer wants to see their character becoming three dimensional and be able to touch them and not just have them flat on the screen. So for sure, it's different. It's nice to have Mozzarella on my desktop but it's even nicer to have it on my shelf or just right next to my bed.
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